Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Starting as you mean to go on

I was listening to a podcast the other day by Fr Meletios Webber, the new abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. John of San Francisco. His podcast is called "Jottings from a Holy Mountain" and can be found via Ancient Faith Radio at http://ancientfaith.com. In this particular broadcast he talks about the need to start each day with God. He points out the findings of psychologists that we do most of our dreaming in the hours before we wake and, depending on the kind of dreams we have, it can have an effect on our thinking as we wake to a new day. To counter this he suggests that before we get up we should try and find five things to be grateful to God. Five things to thank Him for. One of the reasons for this is that gratitude establishes relationship. Another reason is gratitude is good because it "refuses to share the space with anything else". So for example you can't be grateful and angry or grateful and sad all at the same time. Gratitude "pushes out anything that wants to share space with it".

I find this advice so helpful. It strikes a chord with me as a parish priest because it ensures that whatever may come after I have climbed out of bed, at least I will have started the day right with God. Before the Adversary can steal a march on my day with the Lord, I will have already established that all important contact with God that will help me approach the things that the world throws at me in a better or best frame of mind. "In all things be thankful" says Paul (Ephesians 5:20).

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